In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_aprsjzadl6cggwjedxexw7kfnbc

Transcendence

"Transcendence" is a serious science fiction movie filled with big ideas and powerful images, but it never quite coheres, and the end is a copout.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Far Flunger Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

From 'Gumnaam' to 'Ghost World' to... 'Lost'?

jpch5.jpg

"Jaan Pehechaan Ho"

Terry Zwigoff ("Crumb," "Bad Santa," "Art School Confidential") said that as soon as he saw this musical number, "Jaan Pehechaan Ho," from the 1965 Bollywood production "Gumnaam," he knew he had to have it for the opening of his film "Ghost World." You can see why. It's mesmerizing -- one of the wildest, craziest musical numbers I've ever seen. The (Lynchian) energy is so frenetic the thing practically pops off the screen. And the way it's directed and choreographed for film is fantastic. The camera is always in the right place, and the shots of the necessary duration. You never feel like the director and editor are just cutting between different angles at random (as in the last few centuries of music videos, or Oliver Stone movies), chopping up and defusing the kinetic energy of the dancers and the dance. Every shot (mostly full shots, with a few mediums and only a few well-chosen close-ups for punctuation) seems to have been planned with the camera in mind, so that the whole dance only exists as assembled on film. That's the way a movie musical number is supposed to be. And there's something going on in just about every part of the frame -- and in the foreground, middle ground and background, too! (I think the opening of the first "Austin Powers" movie was the last time somebody did it right like this.)

The whole number is available on the "Ghost World" DVD, and on the web -- here as an .mpg download and here on YouTube.

Groovy frame grabs and more after the jump.

jpcha.jpg

jpchb.jpg

jpchd.jpg

Mondo Digital provides some background on the original film (also available on DVD), a two-and-a-half-hour spectacular described as "India's first horror-thriller" -- although it sounds kind of like an alternate-universe "Lost" ("Gumnaam," in fact, means "Lost One"):

A planeload of random passengers is forced into an emergency landing on a very large island with only one spooky house offering refuge from the torrential rain. Representing a cross section of society, the bewildered guests include a doctor (Madan Puri), a perpetually happy dancer (Nanda), studly would-be heartthrob Anand ('60s singer and director Manoj Kumar), and most memorably, a drunken showgirl named Miss Kitty (Bollywood favorite Helen). Inside the house they see a shrouded body which turns out to be the prankster butler/cook (Mehmood, with an odd Hitler moustache), who indicates he has been expecting them all to arrive and shows them into the dining room. There they find a book indicating that each person has committed murder at some point in their lives but escaped conviction, so their mysterious host has now decided to dole out punishment....

janpehechaan1.jpg

jpch2.jpg

jpch3.jpg

jpchf.jpg

jpchg.jpg

jpch4.jpg

jpche.jpg

jpch6.jpg

jpch7.jpg

jpch8.jpg

jpch9.jpg

jpch10.jpg

gumposter.jpg

Popular Blog Posts

Hashtag Activism and the #CancelColbert campaign

The recent #CancelColbert campaign on Twitter raises all kinds of issues about racism, but also about hashtag activism.

For the love of it: notes on the decline of Entertainment Weekly, the firing of Owen Gleiberman, and the ongoing end of an era

Owen Gleiberman's sacking as lead film critic of Entertainment Weekly — part of a ritual bloodletting of staffers at ...

One Year Later: Richard Roeper on Roger

Richard Roeper reflects on his long friendship and professional association with Roger Ebert.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus